Friday, November 19, 2010

Roadkill - #fridayflash


Black crow, feathers like midnight, eyes shiny beads of pinpricked light, watching the dead raccoon in the middle of the highway.

Morning rush hour. Constant parade of cars, back and forth, back and forth.

The carcass like money on the white line.

The crow paces, back and forth, waiting for a break in the traffic.

How badly it wants.

Afternoon rush hour.

The crow sits on top of a telephone pole. Waiting for his opportunity. Watching for thieves. Small head on a swivel, patient beyond reason.

It could have moved on, it could have eaten by now, the crow, but it wants what it wants and it will endure the busy highway until the corpse is his.

Hunger rumbles. The crow waits.

Darkness settles. Traffic lightens. The crow flies down onto the highway and feasts.

Car engines, closer, headlights, the crow leaps away with no time to spare. It hunkers in the gravel, savory taste on its tongue, waiting, dodging, snapping one stolen chunk, one at a time.

Back and forth.

Sated, almost. Slower moving. A mini-van, a startled driver, a cracked windshield, feathers drifting on the night air.

We want what we want.


  1. You want the contents of that minivan so bad, Buzzard-Cathy? I'll get out the road spikes.

  2. I've seen that crow - and almost hit him. Nice job on the description.

    Interesting that it's a _mini-van_ that got him. It fits so nicely with that refrain of wanting what he wants.

    Stellar last line, too. I love the way it opens this up from the story of one crow's end to something in which we are all implicated. Or perhaps a warning?

  3. "The carcass like money on the white line." Wow, Cathy. So evocative. Nice one.

  4. Aw, bad enough it's so hard for him to finish his roadkill! Poetic observations Cathy, very nice!

    A little coincidentally, I hit a turkey a few weeks ago! I see them alot on the side of the road but I've never had one fly out in fornt of me before. No time to brake or swerve.

  5. Oops... I guess he joined the raccoon for something else to dine on. Good one!

  6. Maybe this crow should have lusted after another bit of roadkill. Oh well...

    Good story!

  7. What we want ain't always what we need....I think Bon Jovi said that. Excellent work, m'dear!

  8. An almost tactile, fable-like quality to this piece. Excellent.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  9. I really enjoyed the simple 'crow-think' sentences of this. "We want what he want." there a hidden meaning here?

  10. I love the starkness of this. Simple. Black and white. It has such impact written this way (no pun intended).

  11. Desire clouds the mind against common sense. A fitting end for an overly agressive soul. Good story.

  12. Dagnabit, lost another comment - suffice to say this story is so stark and pounding. Brevity and the soul of writing - awesome Cathy.!!

  13. Gosh, I love have staccato this was... It had such an urgent pentameter... And tense. As always, Cathy, a great write... ;)

  14. Oddly enough, I really needed to read this tonight. Thanks for the reminder that what we want isn't always what's best for us.

    I loved the short, simple sentence structure. As much as I like to think animals have big complex thoughts, this is probably a much more realistic portrayal :)

  15. Darkly poetic Cathy, I think you have captured the scene beautifully here, shame about the poor crow (and the poor raccoon too)

  16. Great take on the ever-present crow. Such clever birds.:)

  17. Great story Cathy. I've seen that crow, nearly had 'im but the blighter's always been too quick for me. ;)

  18. Fantastically written Cathy! I love the sharp jabs the short sentences give, and that last line sums it all up perfectly.

    Along the lines of what Paula said, (about there possibly being more), I can see this as the prelude to a longer work, maybe a novella if not a novel, about a woman, or a man, living the same kind of life. Yes, that is a hint. ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing this masterful work!


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